Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today's entry captures the very essence of
 making theater--collaboration. Meet the Render Games Team:

Hey everybody. Danny Gavigan
 here kicking things off for my MYTHap group. When we realized it was our turn to pick up the torch and contribute to
 the Rorschach blog, all of us just kind of stared at the proverbial torch. None of us are big bloggers, so I proposed a tag team effort where each of us could pick up where the last
 one left off. The rest of the team can either add to whatever it is I'm about to say or wax poetic about their Mister T. cereal they had this morning.With only a week devoted to only one night of one acts, I think trust has become a huge part of the process. Trust not only in each other but ourselves as writers, directors,
 actors, designers, producers and those fucking dramaturgs! Because there's only so much you can ponder
 when you've gotta bang out a script in a day or you've got only 10 pages to explore your character's journey or
 whatever. So what I seem to always get from these quick, intensive festivals is that I can stand still and worry about it or
 just jump in and believe in it, no matter what it is. And there's something to be said for that. I think it's an exercise that I could definitely use for how I approach other works. Jenn? Thoughts on that or anything else you'd like to share?
Jenn here, I love this process because you don't have time to think.  You have to listen to your instincts and go with them.  Last night as we walked through the scene for the first time, I personally felt that my instincts took some time to develop.  I will sit around a table and talk a play to death because the first few moments of working on our feet terrify me as a director: what if nobody knows how to get started?  Last night, everybody jumped in together.  It was great.  It's just like Danny said, the trust in each other helped us all to navigate through the first awkward staging and trust the excitement we all had in the play from the first draft.  Tag, Rachel, you're it.
Here's Kathleen, who was otherwise off the hook, jumped in to say ST NICHOLAS WRITES BLOGS IN HELL!  Carry on.
Hullo, it's Rachel the actor.  I love this process because the plays are so short.  It's like an intensive writing/scene study/improv class all rolled into one, and meanwhile we're actually creating something.  Whoa.  And the shortness reminds me that the whole process can be endless, that there is always more of a moment to tease out.  Which is a weird conclusion to draw from an intentionally compressed bunch of theater like this, I know.  
Speaking of weird, myths.  St. Nick has a lot of good ones, and they're all really bizarre.  Ours in particular.  SPOILER ALERT:  Apparently what draws the saint's attention is the baking of persons into pies.  Myth Nick doesn't seem particularly bothered about punishing the evildoer, but he can't stand people in pies, and so actually gets there *after* the murder and *before* any cannibalism can happen, meaning the bit that really bothers him is the pies part, and that's the part he will undo.  You have to wonder how many crimes and sorrows he walked past on his way to the pie shop in Myra.  When it's Christmas-cookie baking time, I will love knowing that St. Nick really, REALLY cared about his baked goods and secret ingredients.   
Francisco here... This is my first project since I left DC in July, and it's a nice way to get the acting feet wet again. I think the trust Danny mentioned is key here, and I have to say that it helps when you're in a community that you're already familiar with. Having Kathleen Akerley as our playwright is a definite plus, as she is kind of brilliant and a lovely human being, and also someone many of us have worked with before. Blend the cast, director, and designer in with that familiarity and trust, sprinkle with a dose of professionalism all around, and you've got a recipe for a delightful little Christmas concoction - frothy AND spicy! Good spicy, not the kind that make your tongue burn in your mouth and... well, you'll see. Amanda?
Thanks Francisco!  Amanda here.  The beauty of being last on the blog train is I just get to reiterate a few keys words that my fellow Render Gamers pointed out: TRUST, instinct, cannibalism, secret ingredients, frothy, spicy.  Don't believe me?  This is my second Myth-Appropriations and there is definitely more seasoning in this one.  Because nothing says 'happy holidays' like some delicious baked goods.  And our little band's St Nick myth follows in a great tradition of Classic stories involving the baking of human flesh, ie Titus Andronicus and Thyestes.   So join us as we celebrate the Yuletide the old way, by discussing quality of life while referencing cut charts.  Happy Holidays from butchers Andy and Myra!   Don't piss us off, you'll end up "rendered."

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